Ardha ustrasana is a heart opener, a backbend and a front body stretch.
Ardha = half
Ustra = camel
Asana = pose
* Half camel pose opens and stretches the shoulder and upper arm.
* Opens the chest, tonifies the kidneys, and stimulates the respiratory, digestive and endocrine systems.
1. From Child’s Pose or Hero pose, come up onto both knees, placing them hip width apart. Place the palms of the hands on the sacrum with the fingers pointed down.
2. Inhale and press the knees down reaching the crown of the head up to lengthen the spine. Exhale and press the hips forward, squeezing the glutes, thighs and supporting your weight with the arms as you bend backwards.
3. Very carefully reach the left hand down to the left heel. If you cannot reach the heel, keep the hand on the sacrum.
4. Inhale and reach the right hand up and over the heart. If it feels safe drop the head all the way back.
5. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.
6. To release: with both hands on the sacrum, slowly inhale up, letting the head and neck be the last to come vertical.
7. Repeat on other side.
* Place a folded blanket under the knees and ankles to protect them from pressure and stress.
* Tuck the toes under or use a yoga block if the hands cannot reach the heels.
Always work within your own range of limits and abilities.
If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga poses.
“Celebrate who you are in your deepest heart. Love yourself and the world will love you.” ― Amy Leigh Mercree